Mumbai’s Love Affair With Pav Bhaji

This dish doesn’t need any introduction. This is the ultimate staple of Mumbai and now, its wings have started spreading to other parts too. Pav bhaji consists of pav which is a soft bread roll while bhaji is utterly delicious vegetable curry. Let us tell you that bhaji is an Indian name for a vegetable dish while pav or pao is a Portuguese word for bread. And this was introduced during their brief presence around the 1500s in Mumbai. Isn’t it intriguing? 

Let us take you back to the history of bhaji that still rules our hearts. Bhaji actually traces back to somewhere around the 1850s when there used to be textile mill workers in Mumbai. While working for long hours, the workers used to take short lunch breaks and since they had to return to tireless physical work, they always preferred heavy lunch. Mill workers wanted something that would keep them full for hours. Here is when bhaji came into the picture.

A vendor created bhaji which was easy, quick, cheap, light, and still nutritious. The man, who invented bhaji, mixed some parts of other vegetables mentioned on the menu. As time passed, this dish became the favourite late-night street food. At present, pav bhaji is not just food but a feeling for millions of people. It is served with a lot of butter and is easily available in every other city. What we have known so far is bhaji is a nutritious blend of vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, peas, and onions. Mixed with bhaji masala and other spices, it is served with buttery pav. How great is it?

You may have heard a lot about the pav bhaji recipe and don’t worry, we are not going to tell you again. But we have brought for you the recipe for pav bhaji masala. By using this pav bhaji masala, half of your work will be done in no time. This masala would be a multipurpose thing and could also be used in any other dish if you want. So let us not waste any further time and get this pav bhaji masala handy.


  • 5 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 22 cloves
  • 5 star anise
  • 3 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 6 black cardamom
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 leaves
  • 25 Kashmiri red chili 
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp kasuri methi
  • ½ turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp hing
  • 1 tsp black salt
  • 1 tbsp aamchur powder


  • Take a pan and add coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Roast them for a minute. 
  • Now, add cloves, fennel seeds, black cardamom, and cinnamon sticks. Also, add Kashmiri red chilies. 
  • Lightly sauté them. When done, turn off the flame. 
  • Now add the rest of the spices like salt, kasuri methi, turmeric powder, hing, dry ginger powder, black salt, and amchur powder. 
  • Mix everything well and let it cool down.
  • When cooled, transfer the mixture into the blender.
  • Your pav bhaji masala is ready. 

Note: Store the masala in an air-tight container and keep it for 3 to 4 months.